Thank you for the editorial regarding bicycling safety. My wife and I bike many area roads and enjoy our wonderful environment. We also founded and direct an annual Bicycle Ride across Minnesota – RideMN1 Inc., a cancer awareness non-profit that attracts participants from many states (see www.RideMN1.org ).
Many participants are very active in their state’s bicycle policies, from safe bike routes, to road shoulder and rumble strip location (riding across a rumble strip at 15 mph on my road bike with 3/4-inch tires and 120 pounds of air pressure is like driving a car on railroad ties at 40 mph).
Driver responsibility is a key factor. Specifically, Minnesota state law requires the drivers give way to provide bicyclists with three feet of space. This distancing along with eliminating inattentive driving will save lives.
We encounter these violations on most of our local rides and feel the need to stress the drivers’ role in bicycle safety.
On July 14, three teenage boys on bicycles were hit from behind near Carlos, Minn., at 9:58 p.m. by a Lincoln Navigator driven by a 24-year-old. One was dead at the scene, one sent to HCMC and the third injured.
Drivers! Bikers! This did not have to happen. Let’s stop this together.
Bikers – ALWAYS - 1. Wear a helmet (believe it or not, no one wants to feed you pablum for the rest of your life from a TBI - traumatic brain injury); 2. Obey all traffic laws; 3. Wear bright clothing; 4. Use a taillight – day and night; and 4. Use a mirror. Please note these rules are for adults too!
Drivers – please share the road – stay alert.
Waldan McGarlane, RideMN1Inc, Aitkin
Evidently, the Aitkin Independent Age has a double standard between “Letters to the Editor” or columns submitted to the paper. “Letters to the Editor” are to contain “no hateful or derogatory” statements.
Columns can ramble on with constant political negativity and take up considerable space in the newspaper, but letters are held to 450 words. This appears to be a double standard. There should be the same freedom of speech between a letter to the editor or a column.
I think the paper needs to put the same restrictions on columns as you are attempting to do for “Letters to the Editor.”
Whether you like the current occupant of the White House or not, the office of the presidency deserves respect.
Wayne Probasco, Aitkin
I have submitted my absentee ballot today for the Aug. 11 primary ballot in our state. You, too, can participate in absentee balloting, especially in the midst of the pandemic and the need to social distance. It’s simple and easy to do.
In Aitkin County, call the auditor’s office at 218-927-7354 and in Crow Wing County call 218-824-1051 to request absentee balloting forms. In lieu of calling, you can go on line to www.sos.state.mn.us. It’s simple and easy. Remember that there are some counties where absentee balloting is the only method of voting in Minnesota.
Mary Peterson, Deerwood